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Those Who Have Life Can Preach
Devotee: Some book distributors begin to see their service as being the same every day. Why does one fall into such a mentality?
Harikesa Swami: You fall into that mentality because every day on sankirtana you are doing the same thing. You get up, chant your rounds, chant some mantras, eat some prasadam, pirW up rbe books, put them in the bag, count them out, walk out the door, meet somebody, and ><ty, "Hello " Fr it is easy to fall into a rut and start to think that you are doing the same thine if vou are not meditating on what you are doing and why you are doing it. As you are chanting your rounds, you can meditate on how you are distributing these books to please your spiritual master. Pleasing the spiritual master does not become routine. You will get a taste in spiritual life, begin to feel ecstatic within, and transcend the feeling that your service is repetitive. Do you feel that you are in a rut when you are chanting Hare Krsna every day? No. You feel'it giving you transcendental life and inspiration. Similarly, after a day of book distribution, you feel enlivened. But sleep drags you into the mode of ignorance and you begin the morning on the mundane platform, thinking, "Oh, another day, another book." Therefore vou have to meditate on how this transcendental book distribution is giving you the "lite" that you need in spiritual lite. Otherwise, vou would probably be back in the temple looking tor a wite.
Devotee: I no longer seem to have enough energy to stay out on the street as I could before. Is this just the mind deterring me from surrendering?
HarikesaSwami: This question is best answered by you, not by me, but I can give you a hint. When you are very tired, or when the body lacks energy due to bad health, the mind will represent the body and say, "Don't go out so long, you are too weak." But sometimes the mind, on its own, without beine influenced bv the body, says, "Oh, what is the use of all this. Why go out anyway? There is a difference between the two. In the first case you are thinking, "This is a wonderful service. I want to do it, but somehow I am not getting it together." In the second case you are thinking, "What is the use? Who cares? I don't want to do it." In this second case, it is only the mind. But if you are having trouble performing devotional service because the body is weak, you should do something about it. Find a good doctor, get some medicine, and take some rest. Then, after the result has come, go back to your service. If the body is broken down completely, the mind may argue in both of the above-mentioned ways and the cause mav be hard 10 distinguish. A sincere devotee will try to go on with his service, but the other devotees may notice that he is unable to perform his service because of weakness, and they may demand that he take care of himself.
Once Manidhara Prabhu came into my room in Schloss Rettershof. He was just talking nonsense. I kept looking at him as if he were mad. Since I could not understand one word he was saying, I asked him, "Do you feel all right?" After much extracting of information, I found out that he was sick. Although he had a high fever for the past three weeks, he kept pushing himself to go out on sankirtana, thinking it was maya to stop. So I put him in jail. 1 forced him to go upstairs into a guest room and made him stay there. I locked the door and only opened it to supply him with prasadam. He begged, threatened, and pleaded with me to let him out, but I forced him to stay there until he got better. After that, he went out and did nicely.